Award-winning short film by Taiwan director to screen at MoMA in New York

Huang Pang-chuan’s short film 'Last Year When the Train Passed By' will screen in annual showcase of innovative nonfiction films

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“Last Year When the Train Passed By” by Taiwan director Huang Pang-chuan is set to be screened Feb. 23 and 27 during Doc Fortnight at MoMA (Taiwan Tod

“Last Year When the Train Passed By” by Taiwan director Huang Pang-chuan is set to be screened Feb. 23 and 27 during Doc Fortnight at MoMA (Taiwan Tod

TAIPEI (Taiwan Today) -- Taiwan director Huang Pang-chuan’s short film “Last Year When the Train Passed By” is set to be screened Feb. 23 and 27 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York as part of Doc Fortnight, the institution’s annual showcase of innovative nonfiction movies.

Released in 2018, the 17-minute production follows Huang as he seeks out people who reside in houses that he photographed from a moving train one year before and asks them to try and recall what they were doing when the image was taken. This leads to stories ranging from the comical to the tragic and offers insights into human resilience and the working of memory.

The movie has garnered a number of awards since its release, including Best International Short at this year’s London Short Film Festival. It also earned Huang his second grand prize Feb. 9 in the Lab Competition for experimental works at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France. He previously won in the same category in 2017 for “Retour.”

Speaking after gaining inclusion in the MoMA event, Huang expressed thanks to the production team for helping him realize his vision for the project. He conveyed particular gratitude to acclaimed Taiwan musician and composer Lim Giong, who signed up early on to write the score after receiving an email from the young director.

Huang studied graphic design at National Taichung University of Science and Technology in central Taiwan and filmmaking at Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. The 31-year-old also trained under celebrated Hungarian director Bela Tarr, best known for art house films characterized by their long takes and philosophical themes such as “Damnation,” “The Man from London” and “The Turin Horse.”

According to MoMA, Doc Fortnight was first held in 2002 and spotlights short and feature-length works that bring new perspectives to truth in an ever-changing world. This year’s event is scheduled to run through Feb. 28.